Implementation of telemedicine technology could save India around 5 billion US dollars annually: Dr Jitendra Singh

New Delhi : Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh said that Tele-medicine technology could save India around 5 billion US dollars annually and that Tele-medicine is no longer an option but a necessity.The Minister said that Digital health is the next frontier to ensure healthcare delivery is accessible, available, and affordable.

Addressing the CII Asia Health 2021 summit on the theme of ‘Transforming Healthcare for a better tomorrow’, the Dr Jitendra Singh called for innovative healthcare solutions like Telemedicine in a country like India, where there is a shortage of medical professionals, and millions of people live in rural areas without direct access to proper healthcare or treatment.

Dr Jitendra Singh said, the implementation of tele-medicine technology could save India between 4-5 billion US dollars every year and replace half of in-person outpatient consultations. He said, Telemedicine in the country has proven to be cost effective by about 30% less than equivalent in-person visits.

Dr Jitendra Singh said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given very high priority to the Health Sector this year’s budget increased the spending on healthcare by 137% and is in line with industry expectations of 2.5%-3% of the GDP, and also the GDP National Health Policy 2017 target of 2.5% by 2025. The Minister informed that India will spend Rs 2.23 lakh crore on healthcare this year including Rs 35,000 crore on Covid-19 vaccines.

Dr Jitendra Singh informed that in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoH&FW) along with the NITI Aayog, drew the Telemedicine Practice Guidelines that allowed registered medical practitioners (RMPs) to deliver healthcare services leveraging digital health technologies via telemedicine platforms. He said, to achieve this, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission to provide a digital Health ID to people which will contain their health records. Telemedicine will continue to grow leaps and bounds in the years to come especially with greater internet penetration across the country, the Minister added.

Dr Jitendra Singh said, Health technology is becoming central to healthcare as it leads to improvement of health literacy, patient empowerment and engagement, and enable better self-management of care. It is also one of the key components of efforts to improve the quality, efficiency and safety of healthcare delivery while lowering healthcare costs.

The Minister said that various health care schemes launched by Modi Government such as PM Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission, Ayushman Bharat Jan ArogyaYojana, Ayushman Health and Wellness Centres, Pradhan MantriBhartiyaJanaushadhiPariyojana (PMBJP) and Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission have made healthcare facilities accessible and affordable to millions of poor people in the country.

The Health Summit was attended by Dr NareshTrehan, Chairman, CII Healthcare Council & CMD, Medanta – Medicity, Mr Kris Gopalakrishnan, Past President, CII and Founding Member, Infosys, Mr Pankaj Sahni – Chief Executive Officer, Medanta – Medicity, Dr Mradul Kaushik – Chief Executive Officer, Max Healthcare Pvt Ltd, Mr Shashank ND, Chairman, CII Subcommittee on Digital Health & CEO & Co-Founder, Practo, Mr Dharmil Shah, Founder, Pharmeasy, and Mr Prashant Tandon, Founder, Tata1MG.

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